All photos and text by Jack Rothman
All rights reserved. No photo may be copied or duplicated without written permission.

Updated 7/9/16
Copyright 2016

Located in the Bronx, New York, City Island is a small island, approximately one mile long and a quarter mile wide. City Island is surrounded by Eastchester Bay on one side and Long Island Sound on the other. Its bridge attaches to a roadway adjacent to Pelham Bay Park, New York City's largest park. In this area, and in the waters and wetlands, in and around City Island, many bird species thrive. Here, several and varied migratory birds are found. This website was created to help study, appreciate, and protect all the birds of this area.

City Island Birds
Since 2007

Welcome to City Island Birds. I created this website because this area of New York City is little known and underutilized by birdwatchers and other nature lovers. Pelham Bay Park, with its woods and wetlands is a critical stopover and nesting area to many migratory species.


Barnacle Goose at Orchard Beach

Jack Rothman


Traveling and Birding the Amazon

Several people have requested information about our trip to the Amazon.

Birding Interest- Past Articles

Important and Useful

The Wild Bird Fund   (Animal Rehabber)

New York Tide Chart

Urban Park Rangers

NY State Parks

Birdcast (Migration Reports)


There are Cedar Waxwings around Turtle Cove. I haven’t been down there lately because the trail has become overgrown. I’m sure Parks Department will get over there soon to cut some of the foliage blocking the trail.

Tree Swallows are all around the park. A couple of years ago I watched them nest in the hollow of a dead tree sticking ip from the phragmites at Turtle Cove. I don’t see any nests there now but the birds are here. Tree Swallows also nest in boxes meant for Bluebirds.

This Hairy Woodpecker was nesting in the southern zone of the park a few years ago. They are usually not easy to find but this year I’ve seen more than usual.

Hang around down at the Turtle Cove bridge and you’ll eventually hear and see a few Marsh Wrens.

Binocular and Smartphone Help

If you’re not familiar with how your computer or smartphone can help you be a better and more successful birder, you should read my little primer, link here.

If you need or want a new pair of binoculars, you might want to begin here. Binoculars have really changed in the last few years. You can get a fantastic pair for a few hundred dollars and a really good pair for less than $200. Years ago, there wasn’t nearly as much choice. You should link here for ratings.

Birding Advocacy

Save Forests and Save Birds

Ancient Boreal forests are being cut down for

Toilet Tissue, Paper Towels and Catalogs!


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Last year this Cliff Swallow nested at Orchard Beach. This year the nest has been abandoned and possibly House Sparrows have commandeered it, too bad.


This Ruby-throated Hummingbird nested near Turtle Cove a few years ago. The nest was tiny, maybe the size of a thimble and was really hard to locate. Now there seems to be a hummer flying in and out of a nearby tree but we haven’t been able to locate the nest. The photo was digiscoped using an iPhone.

Black-crowned Night Herons nest nearby and they can often be found all along our beaches and inlets. This bird appears immature and the photo was taken near Seafood City on City Island.

The migration has been over for a while and birds have settled down to nest. There are nesting species around the park, Red-eyed and Warbling Vireos, a variety of woodpeckers, Yellow and Common Yellowthoat Warblers, both Orchard and Baltimore Orioles and lots more. It’s definitely not as exciting as migration but an early morning walk should yield a variety of species. Hopefully Turtle Cove will be mowed, so we can get down there and check out the pond. If not, walk over to Orchard Beach to find the Cliff Swallow nests. There’s also a possibility of a hummingbird nest. We’ve been watching a hummer fly in and out of a large tree but can’t seem to find the nest.

A good looking Eastern Kingbird. They are fairly common here and nest somewhere at Turtle Cove